22 May 2009

Appointments to the Productivity Commission

The Assistant Treasurer, Chris Bowen MP, today announced the appointment of Dr Wendy Craik AM and Mr David Kalisch as acting full-time Commissioners and Ms Siobhan McKenna as an acting part-time Commissioner of the Productivity Commission (the Commission).

It is the Australian Government's intention to recommend to the Governor-General that these appointments be considered at the next Executive Council meeting on 4 June 2009, for permanent appointment to the Commission for a five-year period.

Dr Wendy Craik has recently held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Murray-Darling Basin Commission, with extensive prior experience in very senior positions associated with natural resource management and rural policy. She is widely recognised for her long-standing contribution in this area. Dr Craik has extensive experience in the area of ecologically sustainable development and environmental conservation.

Mr David Kalisch is currently a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Health and Ageing and has extensive policy development experience at senior levels, particularly in the areas of health, labour market and social policy. His depth and breadth of contemporary policy experience, combined with his knowledge of economics and earlier experience at the OECD will enable him to oversee a variety of Commission projects.

Ms Siobhan McKenna is currently a part-time Associate Commissioner of the Commission assisting with the Commission's study into the regulatory burden on social and economic infrastructure services. She has also been an Associate Commissioner on the study into chemicals and plastics regulation. Her previous professional experience as a partner at McKinsey and Company included providing advice to companies on productivity matters and the development of effective regulatory strategies. Ms McKenna has highly relevant experience particularly relating to enterprise performance and the regulation of industry and is a qualified economist.

The Commission is the Australian Government's principal advisory body on all aspects of microeconomic reform and regulation. The Commission's core function is to conduct public inquiries on key economic, social and environmental issues bearing on Australia's economic performance and community well-being. Its activities cover all levels of government and encompass all sectors of the community.

These appointments will help the Commission maintain its important work in providing independent and transparent research and advice on a range of economic, social and environmental issues affecting the welfare of Australians.